Saturday, September 23, 2023

Alumnus Justin Hart visits with MTSU students 


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Featured Photo courtesy of Lucas Kautzky

Story by Stephanie Hall

Middle Tennesse State University’s Media and Entertainment College has produced many successful alumni that are experts in their fields. Justin Hart is one of them.  

Graduating in 2011 with a degree in Electronic Media Journalism, Hart worked as the booking manager for the show “Trisha.” However, he got his start with an internship at NBC Universal while he attended MTSU. 

“I had an internship with them, had the opportunity to work on one of the number one shows in the medium,” Hart said. “It was a great experience, being able to learn how to book shows and be able to do pre-interviews and learn the behind-the-scenes aspect of what it takes to be able to develop a show.”

Hart made connections and got his first TV credit with this internship. He finished his degree and moved back to New York. From there, he was offered a job in Los Angeles. He took the risk, and moved out there for a job that was only supposed to be 6 months. He ended up working there for 10 years.  

Justin Hart speaks to the class about his career. (Photo by Lucas Kautzky)

For Hart, his experience at MTSU made him well-prepared for the industry.  

“The experience has been amazing because MTSU prepared me to be a multi-media journalist. Prepared me to strengthen my writing, how to video shoot, how to go out into the field and fight for those stories. It put a lot of wit and strength in me, to be able to step out and really pursue this career,” Hart said.  

Two of the shows Hart has worked on include “Just Keke” and “Daily Pop: E News.”

He also worked as a background vocalist on Kanye West’s album “Jesus is King.” He got nominated for an Emmy with “The Real,” received a Grammy award with “Jesus is King” and won an award from NAACP for his work as a producer on “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” 

He gave some advice to students in regard to success.

“Make sure you intern and really establish these relationships at your internship, because internships is what led me to this particular place that I am at now,” Hart said. “It’s what led to my first job fresh out of college. Intern, be able to establish relationships with your professors, be willing to travel and make sacrifices. It took a sacrifice for me to experience this industry.” 

Hart still works on many shows. However, he also started his own non-profit called “Black Men Crowned,” an award based organization in Memphis that focuses on uplifting the black community and changing the narrative. “The Kelly Clarkson Show” featured the non-profit on an episode.  

Hart’s visit provided insight and hope for students searching for similar success.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

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